KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -Shin-Soo Choo put his slump behind him in a big way Friday night.
Choo hit three homers, including a grand slam, and the Cleveland Indians moved out of the AL Central basement with an 11-4 victory over the Kansas City Royals.
The 28-year-old right fielder, a native of South Korea, was batting just .162 (6 for 37) in his last 10 games before busting out of the rut with his sixth career multihomer game and a career-best seven RBIs.
``I missed so many fastballs,' Choo said of his rough stretch. ``I fouled them off or missed them. I have so many things on my mind. After a ground-ball double play on my first at-bat, I said before my second at-bat maybe I'll try just see the ball and swing at it. It worked.'
Choo was on deck when Asdrubal Cabrera grounded out to end the Cleveland ninth.
``There was no telling what he was going to do,' Indians manager Manny Acta said. ``We all wanted to see him get up there one more time just to see because only a few times it (four homers) has happened in the game. We were just hoping Cabrera got on somehow, someway just to give him a chance.
``He was in the zone today. Choo was a one-man wrecking crew today to do what he did.'
Lou Marson added two hits and three RBIs for Cleveland, which moved into fourth in the division, a half-game ahead of the Royals.
Mike Aviles and Billy Butler hit consecutive homers in the sixth for Kansas City, which has lost 10 of 14. Butler went 4 for 4 and Aviles had three hits.
Choo hit a two-run shot off Kyle Davies (8-10) in Cleveland's four-run second inning and connected against Bryan Bullington in the sixth for his third career slam, making it 9-0.
He picked up his first three-homer game with a solo drive off rookie Greg Holland in the eighth. The shot gave him 19 homers and 79 RBIs on the season.
``Maybe the best game of my life,' Choo said. ``I can't forget about this game.'
Choo became the 12th player to hit three homers in a game this season in the majors. He is the first Indians slugger to accomplish the feat since Travis Hafner on July 20, 2004, against the Angels.
``I tried everything,' Royals catcher Brayan Pena said. ``I went soft, I went hard away, hard inside. He's the best hitter on their team and you don't want him to hurt you. You pitch around him or at least try to get the guys in front of him. He was pretty much the one who beat us.'
Carlos Carrasco (1-0) earned his first major league victory, allowing three runs and eight hits in six innings.
Davies gave up five runs and eight hits in five plus innings. He was 8-0 with a 1.26 ERA in his last eight September starts dating to 2008.
``I lost command and I didn't pitch very well,' Davies said.
Michael Brantley led off the game with a single to extend his hitting streak to 17 games, the longest by an Indians rookie since Cory Snyder hit in 17 straight in September 1986.
NOTES: Royals 2B Chris Getz missed his fourth consecutive game since suffering a concussion Sunday at Chicago. ... Royals RHP Kanekoa Texeira, on the disabled list with a strained right elbow, is scheduled for another bullpen session and then throw batting practice before being activated. ... The Indians skipped RHP Mitch Talbot for the weekend series at Kansas City. Talbot left his previous start Sunday at Minnesota with shoulder inflammation after facing only three batters.
The Associated Press News Service
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